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The Unified Q'i philosophy existed long before magic was understood, or even realized. A method by which one understands himself, his connections to all around him, and therefore, the world. Such understanding brought great power, and with it a need for responcibility. Realizing the danger of those unprepared for this knowledge and power, the masters of the Unified Q'i, nigh immortal beings in and of themselves, decided to nip the problem at the proverbial bud. They broke up the Unified Q'i to its respective elements; Fire, Water, Lightning, Wind and Earth.

As each element symbolizes a necessary aspect of fighting, they become 'pillars' holding the 'heaven' of martial supremacy and philosophical understanding. Each such pillar is guarded and tended to by a dragon who embodies the philosophy and focus of the element, teaching those under him of the favoured element. Only when one has mastered, truly and thoroughly, all five pillars... then and only then does he open his eyes to the Unified Q'i and realizes that, in fact, he still knows nothing and that limits are only there to be broken, a milestone of skill as it were.

Fire stands for strength, earth-shattering brawn, enough to shatter stones and cause quakes. Users start from doing the 'Kappa's Mile', a mile during which they walk as low to the ground as possible, to even walking inside pools of viscous liquids to perform their training. A Fire Dragon Master can exert his full strength regardless of range of motions or speed or even direction. Some were even able to produce the full strength of their punches from any inch of their bodies, such being the strength and speed of their flexing muscles.

Water is fluidity, grace, adaptability. Users begin by dodging pebbles or colored balls of strings thrown inside a fan's wind path, later adding restrictions, before moving to practicing inside a stream of water, where they learn to move as fast as on land by virtue of separating the invisible 'strings' of water and moving between them. Masters of the Water style are able to attack internal organs by having the force of their blows flow around the target's bones without dispersing through the flesh. Some were even able to use what is known to other martial arts as Uraate, return fist, able to strike any part of the enemy's body and causing the damage to any other. Some, even stronger ones, were able to redirect a Fire Dragon's charging fist to return the force of the blow.

Lightning Dragons promote precision, striking the single focal point that takes down their enemies. They, more than all others, devote time in meditation, able to temporarily invoke large bursts of adrenaline to 'slow time down' from their perspective. Unhinged, then, from the flow of time they are able to singularly target the points they wish, striking pressure points and even a weapon's structural weakness. They begin training by learning acupuncture and touchening their fingers by ramming them repeatedly between rolling pins, large, wooden, rotating cylinders.

Earth stands for toughness and endurance. While slower than any other, there are very few things that can damage them, most blows glancing off their skin harmlessly. They master subtle motions of the body to redirect incomin blows, hardening of their skin and immense pain tolerance, sometimes standing on coals or ramming their bare hands inside furnaces. Their blows are slow, but their hands are like tempered steel, ripping through an enemy's body by virtue of hardness.

Wind is speed, endless dodging and parrying of blows. They, more than all others, train in the use of hand-held weapons, maximizing their efficiency via quick cuts. Their fighting style consists of dodges, leaps, tumbling and a lot of running. Despite that, they are not very long-lasting, but they do consider it a testament to their enemy's skill if they manage to ever wound them. Training consists of leather straps binding them, fughting underwater and weight training.

Of course, there are several limitations. Most importantly, focus. Regardless of pillar chosen, a student may not stop learning until he has mastered the selected pillar. Just as important is the physical limitations that apply to performing these feats of power; one may not, under any circumstances, learn more than three different pillars that started before level 20. Additionally, one may only start taking levels in the Void pillar after mastering and taking the respective special feat of all other pillars. For only then is he considered a true master of the Five Heavenly Dragon Pillars.

There are several advantages to taking levels in these prestige classes, ones that go beyond mere damage or speed increase. At the top of each pillar's tree lies an Advent form. Using this form, the student is able to exemplify and project his skill in a single pillar, almost to the exclusion of all else. Only one advent form may be used at the time (except via Void pillar's ability) and it's usable only a number of times per day equal to the user's Wisdom modifier, lasting for a number of rounds equal to his monk level plus the pillar three plus one per pillar he has mastered. For every level in the Void pillar, increase the number of rounds that can be spent in advent form by 2. Switching Advent forms takes a standard action, as does engaging in one. Beyond the very powerfull Advent form, mastering a dragon pillar allows access to a unique feat that gives even more power, if but for a limited time. Each such feat is unique and specific to the pillar.

Requirements:

Fire Dragon Pillar (Hi no Ryu-Bashira)Edit

CL AB For Ref Will Special

1st +1 +2 +0 +0 Damage Increase

2nd +2 +3 +0 +0 Damage Increase

3rd +3 +3 +1 +1 Damage Increase, Fire Advent

Damage Increase: Every time this feature is gained, the damage of your unarmed strikes increases by one step.

Fire Advent: Add Class level to damage per strike. Add half of class level to strength based checks.

Hi no Rei: Ultimate ability. Damage Armor (unarmed strike at whatever hit, usually the weapon). Freedom of Movement. Double damage of


Water Dragon Pillar (Mizu no Ryu-Bashira)Edit

CL AB For Ref Will Special

1st +0 +2 +0 +0 Stunning Expertise, Defence Specialist

2nd +1 +3 +0 +0 Damage Reduction

3rd +2 +3 +1 +1 Water Advent

Stunning Expertise: The DC to resist your stunning fist is increased by 2.

Defence Specialist: You may add twice your Water Pillar level to your monk level when determining AC bonus.

Damage Reduction: Class Level times two or Wis modifier, whichever is greater.

Water Advent: Gain DR equal to Class level (including monk and other pillars).

Soutenshou: The master of the Water pillar understands that everything is linked to everything. He makes a double palm strike at the enemy, using the vibrations caused by the difference in the strike and causes the course of energy to flow around the target's bones, racing directly for the internal organs, typically the lungs. It is a full-round action, that attack insides of enemy therefore needing a discernible (or at least connected) anatomy, making oozes and similar beings immune while a zombie wouldn't. You may make two Stunning Fist strikes, your attack ignores DR (other than /-), armor, natural armor, shield and it may sicken the enemy if he fails both saves against stun.


Lightning Dragon Pillar (Kaminari no Ryu-Bashira)Edit

CL AB For Ref Will Special

1st +1 +2 +0 +0 Stunning Fist

2nd +2 +3 +0 +0 Aimed Strike Master

3rd +3 +3 +1 +1 Lightning Advent

Stunning Fist:

Aimed Strike:

Lightning Advent: Ignore armor, half DR, half natural armor. Free stun every 2 landed attacks.

Shoraitou (Rising Lightning Sword): The Master of the Lightning pillar is able to focus his entire damage potential in a single unbelievable accurate blow. So accurate in fact, that it could push a needle between the veins of the wings of a fly mid-air. It is a full-round action. Ignores armor, natural armor and DR. If it lands, deal x2 damage and paralyze for 1D4+Wis modifier rounds.


=Earth Dragon Pillar (Chikyu no Ryu-Bashira)+

CL AB For Ref Will Special

1st +1 +2 +0 +0 Endurance, AC Bonus

2nd +2 +3 +0 +0

3rd +3 +3 +1 +1 Earth Advent

Endurance:

AC Bonus:

Damage Reduction:

Earth Advent:

Daichi no Ishi (Will of the Earth):

Wind Dragon Pillar (Kaze no Ryu-Bashira)Edit

CL AB For Ref Will Special

1st +1 +2 +0 +0 Flurry, Speed Increase

2nd +2 +3 +0 +0

3rd +3 +3 +1 +1 Wind Advent

Flurry: Extra attacks equal normal number of attacks. Each extra deals one less step of damage.

Speed Increase:

Wind Advent: Even more attacks, now including flurry (normal) of how many attacks can be doubled. Also, reduce the penalty by one step for every 2 extra attacks (round down). Add +20 feet per class level.

Furenken (Wind Lotus Strike):

Endless Dragon Pillar (Mugen no Ryu-Bashira)Edit

CL AB For Ref Will Special

1st +1 +2 +2 +2 Second Advent

2nd +2 +3 +3 +3 Third Advent

3rd +3 +3 +3 +3 Fourth Advent

4th +4 +4 +4 +4 Fifth Advent

5th +5 +4 +4 +4 Limit Break, No Limits

Second Advent: Use two advents at the same time, half time.

Third Advent: Use three advents, one third of time.

Fourth Advent: Use four advents at the same time, one quarter of the duration.

Fifth Advent: May use all five advents at the same time but only for one fifth of the duration.

Limit Break: For one round per Constitution modifier, enter a state of immense power. HP gained from Constitution bonus is tripled, AC gained from Dexterity bonus is tripled and damage gained from Strength bonus is tripled. Take 2 Constitution, Dexterity and Strength damage per round spent. Duration need not be consecutive.

No Limit: May interchange Advents once per round as a free action at the end or start of the round. Double length of time one can stay in Advent form.

Musou no Kamae (Undefeated Stance): May invoke a number of Ultimate techniques equal to the Wisdom modifier for one round. Extra wisdom enhances duration of Hi no Rei and Daichi no Ishi. The abilities Shouraitou, Furenken and Soutenshou are all performed as one strike.

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